A Toxic Legacy and a Threat to Our Fishing Heritage
For well over a century, we’ve mined our nation’s mountains and watersheds, leaving behind toxic tailings and tainted water that infiltrate our trout streams, polluting them and, in some cases, killing them altogether. Today, mining continues across America and, while practices are much improved, the potential for problems remains very real. In Alaska’s Bristol Bay, the proposed Pebble Mine would become one of the largest open-pit mines on earth, and it would be situated in the headwaters of the most productive salmon drainage in the world, threatening the livelihoods of commercial fishermen, recreational guides and outfitters, and native Alaskans who live off the land, just as their ancestors have for thousands of years.
An Opportunity to Get it Right
While mining has left lasting scars on the American landscape, TU sees the potential for responsible mining, and is working with important industry partners, like Tiffany & Co., to encourage responsible mining and to clean up past mistakes. We’re working with the Environmental Protection Agency to make it possible for TU and our partners to clean up abandoned mines without taking on insurmountable liability, and to put existing laws, like the Clean Water Act, to work to stop poorly conceived plans for mines—like Pebble—from becoming a reality. Mining need not repeat its onerous history in order to provide America and the world with important minerals. It can be done in a way that protects our water resources, our trout, our angling heritage and, most importantly, our water.